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The question was also raised by a Cardinal, 'What is to be done with the Pope if he becomes a heretic?' It was answered that there has never been such a case; the Council of Bishops could depose him for heresy, for from the moment he becomes a heretic he is not the head or even a member of the Church. The Church would not be, for a moment, obliged to listen to him when he begins to teach a doctrine the Church knows to be a false doctrine, and he would cease to be Pope, being deposed by God


https://archive.org/stream/LifeAndLifeWorkOfPopeLeoXIII/LifeAndLifeWorkOfPopeLeoXIII_djvu.txt
The  question  was  also  raised 
by  a  Cardinal,  'What  is  to  be  done  with  the  Pope  if  he  becomes  a 
heretic?'  It  was  answered  that  there  has  never  been  such  a  case;  the 
Council  of  Bishops  could  depose  him  for  heresy,  for  from  the  moment 
he  becomes  a  heretic  he  is  not  the  head  or  even  a  member  of  the 
Church.  The  Church  would  not  be,  for  a  moment,  obliged  to  listen  to 
him  when  he  begins  to  teach  a  doctrine  the  Church  knows  to  be  a 
false  doctrine,  and  he  would  cease  to  be  Pope,  being  deposed  by  God 

"If the Pope, for instance, were to say that the belief in God is false, you would not be obliged to believe him, or if he were to deny the rest of the creed, 'I believe in Christ,' etc. The supposition is injurious to the Holy Father in the very idea, but serves to show you the fullness with which the subject has been considered and the ample thought given to every possibility. If he denies any dogma of the Church held by every true believer, he is no more Pope than either you or I; and so in this respect the dogma of infallibility amounts to nothing as an article of temporal government or cover for heresy." The Archbishop spoke severely of the misrepresentation that had been made about his views of infallibility by an interviewer of a city paper. He also read an extract from a Baltimore paper, which he pronounced insulting. The interviewer made him say the dogma could not be published until after it was signed. He said that the publication of the doctrine of infallibility need not wait for the official Himself. 242 THE VATICAN COUNCIL - signing of the acts of the council before the proclaiming of the dogma, after it had been pronounced upon by nine hundred and seventy-five Cardinals, Bishops, Abbots, and Patriarchs — that the public needed not to wait for it until it had been signed. He said that he came there to proclaim the personal infallibility of the Pope. In his own words, he was a true Roman Catholic, as he had said there, as he had written in his letters to the Pope, as he had proclaimed in the council, as he had affirmed in Cincinnati and elsewhere in this country. In his dis\ Hussion with Mr. Campbell, he had indicated the infallibility of the Church in the strongest language and with the strongest arguments of which he was capable, and he was not going back on all that he ^had hitherto said upon the subject. TEXT OF THE DOGMA OF INFALLIBILITY The Archbishop then read the text of the dogma of infallibility, translating it as he read. He prefaced it thus: "I want the editors of the newspapers and the reporters who are here present to send it on the wings of the press, north, south, east, and west, that I, John B. Purcell, Archbishop of Cincinnati, am one of the most faithful Catho- lics that ever swore allegiance to Rome." His Grace said in conclusion: uThe Bishops were, many of them, afraid that outside influences would be brought to bear on the Church, and very often they said, 'It is not the Pope with the white cassock that we have to fear, but certain ecclesiastics who dress in black cassocks, who may influence the Pope and make him say what they please, — but wherever there are men there will be vices and defects. So the Holy Father has to watch as well as to pray, and he has sometimes to be even a little distrustful of those who pretend to be his officious minions, and who tell him things they should not. "But, my dear friends, as I have said, where there are men there will be defects and vices, and wherever will you find in history anything to compare with the freedom from vice, error, crime, Digitized by THE VATICAN COUNCIL 243 and disorder such as you will find in the conduct of the Catholic Church by the Pope whom God has now placed over her? In the tenth century there were persons who had political power in Rome and were thrust into the chair of St. Peter; but God soon thrust them away; and if you are ever called to answer this argument against your Church, you can say that, in the genealogy of Jesus Christ there were very bad men, and that as that did not make Jesus Christ bad, so in the pontifical succession also, there were a few bad men, but that did not make the pontifical succession vicious. And beyond this, we can see the Church going on her safe and glorious course for eighteen hundred years, amid all sorts of dangers and persecutions, to glorious immortality. Or to take another image, we can see the bark, guided by Christ and His vicars, riding through the winds and waves, and sure to reach at last the haven of refuge with its precious freight of immortal souls."

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